Everton have agreed their first ever training ground sponsorship deal after partnering with a holdings company founded by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
The Premier League club agreed a five-year deal with USM Holdings which commences this month and will see the Halewood training ground renamed USM Finch Farm.
In addition to the naming and branding of the training ground, USM will also have a set of global marketing rights including presence on media interview backdrops, LED advertising at Goodison Park on matchdays, VIP hospitality and player access for brands within the group.
The deal also marks a commercial link between Arsenal’s second-largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, and the club where his business partner, Farhad Moshiri, is the major shareholder having bought a 49.9% stake in the club last February.
USM Holdings is comprised of several major Russian companies including Metalloinvest which is the largest mining company in Russia and Mail.Ru Group which is the Russian internet leader and owner of Russia’s most popular social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki.
The group is also responsible for UTH Russia, one of Russia’s largest media and entertainment groups.
Everton chief executive and director, Robert Elstone, said the deal was a “significant and exciting deal for Everton as we continue to grow our commercial revenues”.
“We’ve invested heavily into our training facilities over recent years and this deal means we can continue to provide top class facilities, which we know plays an important role in attracting the best playing talent, from academy right through to first-team."
Elstone added: “I’m sure that the marketing platform this provides USM and its businesses will help them achieve their growth objectives,” said Everton chief executive and director, Robert Elstone.
Ivan Streshinsky, member of the board of directors at USM Holdings said: “The naming of Finch Farm, and the extensive package of marketing rights, provides USM and the businesses within our group with unique year-round global media exposure. We’ve done considerable research into what this partnership can deliver for us and we’re very excited about the difference this will make as we continue to build our brands.”
No financial terms of the deal have been announced, however Elstone told the AGM the club had recently signed two “high-value” commercial deals worth a total of £75m. The second sponsorship deal is a new shirt sponsor which has still to be announced.